On hiatus

January 8th, 2004


This blog is going on hiatus while I try to get my life in order. This return has been the most difficult thing I’ve done and I need to focus on getting my act together. Thanks for reading and commenting. And thank you for joining me on my Japan Adventure. Who knows where my next one will be?




Half here.

December 23rd, 2003

It’s wierd, I find myself looking for Asian people around NY, so I can find a Japanese person to talk to. Funny, right? I guess I just want to keep up my language skill and I haven’t spoken it since I got off the plane, really. Soon I’m going to find out about classes.

As far as what’s next, I feel totally lost and adrift. I’m not even sure I want to stay in New York. I feel like I’m half-here, like everything around me isn’t quite real, that it could disappear if I look too hard. I wish I had some sort of solid plan, but I don’t. It’s hard to be back.

I went for a walk today to try to clear my head, and I got some pix of NYC at Christmas.


Slow readjustment…

December 22nd, 2003

I’m trying to recover after my jet lag, but I find myself getting really sleepy in the middle of the day, and then I can’t sleep at night. My hearing seems to be heightened: I can follow tiny snippets of conversations around me, and I CAN UNDERSTAND EVERYONE, so even the most mundane conversations become intensely fascinating. Today on the train, two people were talking about Christmas gifts and I was hanging on their every word. Strange.

Also, I had brunch with Jon Lackman and Ben Weiss, two of my oldest friends. Here’s a few pix from brunch and the train. Soon, more NYC landmark pix…



December 20th, 2003

I’m tired, but here. Right now I’m at my aunt and uncle’s and cousin’s house on Long Island. Thanks, Dahlia, Michael and Noah! I stayed up late last night so I could get a full night’s sleep, but I only managed to get about 6 hours or so. Today I’m going to head into Manhattan with a gift bag of Japanese souvenirs. I’ll be like Hanukkah Harry, dropping in on friends all over the city. If you want to get ahold me of, email.


December 19th, 2003

First, I want to thank all of you readers and/or commenters out there. I never felt like I was alone in Japan thanks to your continued support and posting. I’m glad you were able to be with me, and I apologize for the low frequency of updates throughout the year. Thanks. I’ll keep posting to this blog, until I get tired of posting, or you all get tired of reading, whichever comes first.

Now, my first thought as I got on the plane was: boy, there sure are a lot of foreigners. Uhh…wait, that’s me too. Hey, I guess we’re all foreigners. Or Americans. Or whatever-ers. Anyway, I found the free wireless cafe in the Dteriot airport, and I’m responding to all your emails as fast as I can. Customs had a LOOOONG line and I was asked a lot of questions about where I was going and why. But I made it through and didn’t have to go to the “room”, but the French guy in front of me did. Seriously. It’s WIERD to be back, that’s for sure. I’ll post more once I reach the sane, relaxed, environment of NYC at Christmas-time.

Last one (in Japan, anyway)!!!

December 18th, 2003

In an ideal world, I would have lots of time to write this, and I would tell you all about my thoughts on Japan, blah blah. Naturally, I have no time, I have to pack and clean, and I haven’t canceled mycell phone yet. Ugh. I will leave you with some pictures from my farewell party. As for the insights, I’ll compose something on the 12 hour flight back to NYC and post when I get back. Thanks for reading, and I plan on keeping this journal going in NYC, to chronicle my adjustment process (i.e. reverse culture shock). I’ve only been gone a year, so it shouldn’t be too bad…I hope.


Some teaching fun…

December 11th, 2003

Please repeat after me…Listen and Repeat.
The first time I heard this I was, naturally, in class. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. Do you have enough WHAT?

Another fun thing? “Peanut butter” tends to sound a lot like “penis butter” because in Japanese, there is a “tsu” sound, so “peanut” becomes “peanuts”. Needless to say, I heard these two things in the same lesson. Whew.

Counting down…

December 9th, 2003

I’ve got two more weeks here so I wanted to give you guys the flavor of my neighborhood and train station. Here are a few pics I’ve snapped over the past few days. I’m getting really excited and nervous about coming home. If anyone has any jobs lined up for me in the greater NYC area, I’d love to hear about it. Seriously. I’m going to be really busy until I go, but I’m going to try to post at least once or twice more some of the more ridiculous parts of teaching.


At long last…

November 28th, 2003

Just returned from a crazy time in Tokyo with Ben and Jon. Happy Thanksgiving! Here are some pix of our adventures on Osaka and Kyoto:


28 days…and sorry about the delay.

November 21st, 2003

28 days and I’m back in the USA! I’ll be returning to NYC on Dec. 19th and I’m simultaneously excited and nostalgic, even though I haven’t left yet. If anyone has any ideas for what I should do when I return, I’m all ears..er…eyes.

My bike has been officially stolen, so I bought a new one last weekend. I’ll sell it, and my VCR (and all the tapes), to the new teacher when she gets here.

As to the “gaijin” phenomenon, I know I’m hesitant to approach someone else because, honestly, I assume the worst about the person until proven otherwise. My first thought is, “Why are they here? Something must be wrong with them to be here.” I find, in general, the people I’ve met here are either really interesting/eccentric and I want to hang out with them or pretty strange and I don’t want to talk to them. I’m not sure where I fall in the mix, but I’m lucky that the people I work with all fall under the “interesting” category.

This weekend, Ben and Jon Lackman are coming to visit because I’m turning 30! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Okay, more pix from Paul and Deb’s visit: